The Cooktown Botanic Gardens were established in 1878 making them one of Queensland’s oldest regional botanic gardens. The Gardens are located within the 62 hectare Gallop Botanic Reserve, situated 1.5km from the centre of Cooktown. It houses five major plant collections, including a collection of species traditionally used by the local Aboriginal people; a rare and threatened plant showcase and a collection of some of the species collected by Joseph Banks and Daniel Solander in 1770.
The gardens are enclosed by a feral proof fence and you open and walk in and around passing the features and past some very old paper bark trees and palms. At the end there is a steep climbing 600m track to Fitch Beach with a tack to the quarry and also to another beach. The dog and I found the steep track hard going and turned back to climb back up to the gardens. Its a very beautiful walk through dense forest, shaded by tall trees.
Listed under the Queensland Heritage Register, the gardens also retain a number of elements of their late 19th century design, including garden terraces, dry-pitched granite rockpools, subsidiary covered stone-pitched drains, stone steps, wells, rock garden survivals, and diverse archaeological elements. Also featured amongst the collections is a palmetum, a rainforest garden, a water lily pond, and Nature’s Powerhouse Café